Back in My Day We Trudged Up Hill to the Lab…

Tube racks stacked in the refrigeratorRemember the bubble getter? Siliconizing sequencing gel glass plates? Carrying out sequencing reactions in strip tubes? Diagramming, by hand, your cloning scheme and calculating the cut sizes with a hand-held calculator? Marking plates for plaque lifts with india ink?

This video is for all of you who were in the lab when life was “one gene, one graduate student”. What other oldie but goodies can you think of? Leave a comment or tweet @promega #backinmyday


Odyssey of a Grad Student and the Playlist that Paved the Way

Grad school is no walk in the park. Whether the topic is English or Astrophysics, most grad students would agree that the journey to the coveted PhD can simply be described as “hard”- academically, financially, mentally. It is very important to have an outlet for the associated stress such as a hobby or exercise. My outlet was music. Music is very important in my life. It is so important that most people close to me have their own soundtrack that plays in my head when I think of them. Needless to say, music played a big part in saving my sanity during my 7.5 years in grad school. As time went on, there were several songs that marked important milestones and emotions I experienced along the way. When I defended my thesis, I decided to leave the department with a musical story of how I made it through. I created a compilation CD of all these songs to share with the department and any other struggling grad students I encountered. The CD has a custom label featuring the structure of the protein I studied, cardiac troponin C.

In this blog, I will share with you that playlist, entitled “Odyssey of a Grad Student,” and a description of the significance of each track. You can listen to all but one* of the songs on YouTube ( Click the link and listen as you read along. Continue reading “Odyssey of a Grad Student and the Playlist that Paved the Way”

Ode to Science Blogging: On the Twelfth Day

A partridge in a pear tree

Your Promega bloggers have been reflecting on this last year of science news and blogging. Our reflections inspired us to compose this ode to science news in 2010. We hope you enjoy the memories and that you will join us in 2011 for more blogging adventures.

On the twelfth day of blogging,
my true love sent to me:
Twelve reports of life—on Titan,
Eleven arthropods (in Paleocene amber),
Ten arsenic atoms (in DNA),
Nine parrots dancing,
Eight Dragons launching,
Seven imaginary cheeses,
Six synthetic life forms,
Five golden iPads
Four fluorescent criminals,
Three French kings,
Two white-nosed bats,
And the sequence of Ozzy’s genome

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year.

Harry Potter Sings the Elements

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I dismissed the idea of blogging about it because it seemed unlikely that there would be a connection with science.
I was wrong. This is for scientist Potter fans.

A Christmas Lab Story

I hope you don’t have to work too much over the holidays. Anyone who has experienced frantic days trying to finish up experiments before a holiday might sympathize with this Christmas tale. Hopefully it will make you smile, whether you are working on Christmas Eve or not.

‘Twas the night before Christmas so Why? you may ask,
were the beakers all stirring, and even a flask?
Who is working so hard on a night such as this?
When all is supposed to be heavenly bliss? Continue reading “A Christmas Lab Story”

Genomics, Cellomics and…Poetryomics?

Poems On the Underground is an annual project that has been a part of London life since the mid 1980s.  It is also one with which I have a personal connection—my father used to work for The British Council which cosponsors the project (1).  Every year a selection of poems authored by literary greats such as William Blake, William Wordsworth and Wendy Cope are carefully selected for publication on London Underground trains (1).  For many a rush-hour traveler, these short poetic nuggets will inevitably engage the mind perhaps temporarily drawing it away from the monotony of a working day.

The world of bioscience has recently latched onto a similar craving for all things poetic and creative writing-related.  Sponsored by UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), The Human Genre Project is the name chosen for a new initiative that aims to tap into the writing abilities of the public at large with a specific focus on genes and genomics (2,3).  Continue reading “Genomics, Cellomics and…Poetryomics?”